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Currently Viewing Posts Tagged Psychology

An A or B

Completely unrelated, but it makes me laugh! I guess some dogs are just wicked smart!


I think you can make statistics prove anything that you want to prove. For instance, the year that the Golden State Warriors broke the NBA’s single season win total; their guard, Klay Thompson, autographed a toaster for a fan. Thereafter, they went on to a 31-2 record. Does that speak to the power of toasters?

It just means that sometimes statistics don’t explain reality. Meyer Friedman was a cardiologist who for decades ran a busy medical office in San Francisco. In the late 1950s, he and his partner, Dr. Ray Rosenman, began noticing similarities in their patients with heart disease. It wasn’t simply what their patients ate, or their genes inherited, or family history that affected their susceptibility to heart attacks; it was also how they lived their lives.

These patients“, Friedman noted, “demonstrated: a particular complex of personality traits, including excessive competition drive, aggressiveness, impatience, and a harrying sense of time urgency. Individuals displaying this pattern seem to be engaged in a chronic, ceaseless, and often fruitless struggle—with themselves, with others, with circumstances, with time, sometimes with life itself.

These people were significantly more likely to develop heart disease than other patients—even those who shared similar physical attributes, exercise regimens, diets, and family histories. Looking for a convenient and memorable way to explain this insight to their medical colleagues and the wider world, Friedman and Rosenman found inspiration in the alphabet.”

They classified this behavior as “Type A.” Now we all know that term.

Contrary to Type A behavior was Type B behavior. Unlike the hurry-up, horn-honking behavior; people displaying Type B behavior were rarely in a hurry and didn’t feel stressed by life’s demands.

In their research, the doctors found that Type B people were just as intelligent and  ambitious, as Type A’s. But, displayed their ambition differently. In writing about Type B , the cardiologists explained, “He may also have a considerable amount of ‘drive,’ but its character is such that it seems to steady him, give confidence and security to him, rather than to goad, irritate, and infuriate, as with the Type A man.” One key to reducing heart disease and death was to help Type A’s learn to become a little more like Type B’s.

These classifications and findings of these heart doctors are interesting to me, because they also are linking stress to health. With our clients, I always believe that their most significant damage is related to stress and emotional trauma. And these doctors would probably agree.

As a side note, Dr Friedman died at the age of 90. Maybe he taught himself to slow it down! Although, sometimes I think that some of the stress that Type A feels… is stress from the actions (and lateness) of Type B.

And for pic o’ day, I always say that I want people to pay me the compliment that I am having a bad hair day! Just sayin’!



Remembering What We Don’t Remember

Ben Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn”. Here is the story of a psychologist who would differ with that statement.

If you go to Elizabeth Loftus’ Wikipeida page, you will learn about her psychological studies and how she has faced great criticism  for her studies and findings in the field of false memories. She has testified many times as an expert witness in criminal cases while qualifying as an expert in Behavioral Psychology.

You might be interested in reading more on her therapeutic studies on weight loss and controlling the desire to lose weight through psychology. For the purposes of her impact in the field of law, I have read about her studies and belief that eyewitness testimony can be altered, based on the ability to alter a person’s memory of an event.

In an experiment done in the 1970’s, they brought people in and showed them slides of a car hitting a pedestrian. They were shown a slide of a red little sports car (Datsun) at a yellow Yield sign.

Then, the “test subjects” were asked  “Did you see another car pass the Datsun at the stop sign?”. When asked that question, most of the group truly remembered a Stop sign instead of a Yield sign.

Her studies thereafter set out to prove or disprove that a person’s memory could be changed or impacted and that the accuracy of memory became inaccurate.

Her findings have caused her to testify repeatedly that eyewitness testimony can be altered, and that something as simple as words and presentation can alter memory. Her testimony can be used to attack the testimony of police officers, depending on how they interviewed witnesses.

Her testimony as an expert, versus other testimony, as sometimes been described as the “memory wars”. Her opinions do give pause on the dependability of eyewitness testimony. I wonder what Ben Franklin would say? Of course, Franklin’s memory may have been impacted a bit by his own habits. As he put it, “In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom; in water there is bacteria”.


And for pic o’ day, this one made me laugh when Amy M. sent it to me:



Self Analysis

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist and the father of Psychoanalysis. So I start with him because this blog might seem to be a bit “psychological. I might be able to explain the blog. I cannot explain why Freud would have such an angry face… and want the sculptor to forever catch that angry face!


Of course, you don’t have to take a family photo for the eternal posting on Facebook to prove that you are happy either!


But there are some clients who tell me that they “want their day in court” while others nudge me toward settlement because “they want to put it behind them”. On occasion, I suspect that they really don’t want to go to court. Could it be a bit of introvert/extrovert considerations? Maybe sometimes?

That’s why it caught my attention when I saw this article from that asks the question, “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?”.

For the blog today, I thought I would paste this 10 question test (RIGHT HERE) in case you like these kinds of tests. The very first question is “Do you feel drained when in a large crowd of people?”. I’m glad it doesn’t ask, “Do you feel drained by long blogs?”.

I know I have already posted 2 pics today… but pic o’ day is my favorite part of the blog. This is one that reminds me of either church or my law school classes. Who likes up front?


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